Yesterday was a regular school day for my kids, except I let them stay home for the day. All to go to the Big E. While it does run on the weekends too, my husband works most weekends and I was also hoping to avoid the crowds from the weekend by going during the week. Apparently yesterday a lot of children had off from school. Who knew, mine didn’t. So we didn’t avoid huge crowds, as a matter of fact we waited in line just to get in for over half an hour. Pure craziness! But I will tell you, it was well worth the wait for something that we can only do once a year.
This was the first year we had brought the kids. Both my husband and I had been many years ago when we were in high school, but lots has changed in 15-25 years since that time. Every year that it’s advertised we always say we should go, but we never do. This year we made it happen.
Not Much Has Changed
When I was in high school I was in the Vocational Agriculture program my Freshman year. I really only did it that one year because it ended up being more of a commitment to agriculture than I was willing to make.
I did learn a lot in Vo-Ag though. Like I got to see goats being born. That was interesting. And little side note here for all people who like to say animals in the wild birth their babies naturally without assistance and do just fine and we can too. Well, that may be true, but even animals need assistance from time to time. I’ll never forget my teacher having to help that goat along because labor was lasting too long and she was beginning to go into distress. Turned out the kid was breech and she had to reach in and turn him. So even in nature screwy things happen which require help. That kid could not be born in the position he was in and needed to be turned for the safety of mom and kid.
But that’s beside the point. We were supposed to go to the Big E with Vo-Ag the year I was in it, but for some reason I was unable to go. I can’t remember why. I ended up going up with my parents though another day. And it was a lot of fun back then. And I remember it was huge. If you think you have been to a large fair before well The Big E has got to be one of the biggest. It is THE BIGGEST in the North East for sure.
While we could never afford to go all 17 days that the event runs every year you really kind of have to in order to see and do everything. I really think I could only justify the one day out of school for this. After all once we get to 10 absences on the year we have to worry about truancy laws and what not.
So I Kept My Kids Out Of School
It might sound crazy. It’s a fair after all. But you see it’s not like any fair most have seen. Sure there are carnival games and rides. Sure there is a ton of food. I mean anything you can imagine fried, including fried butter. They even had fried girl scout cookies. Lots and lots of vendors selling stuff. Yup, had all of that. But it was educational too, I promise. We got to see up close and personal the Clydesdale horses, baby chicks hatching, chickens, pigs and their piglets, cows, and goats too. We saw all sorts of different gourds some that weighed well over 1000 pounds.
We also got to learn about the things that make each state in the North East different. They have state buildings there for Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and of course Connecticut. Special foods from each state were represented there. It’s kind of funny walking into the CT building and seeing signs pointing to the best hot dog and the place is a hot dog place right from your own town. I hardly ever eat there myself actually. Of course Maine lobster was represented very well in the Maine building and Vermont maple syrup was the theme in Vermont.
So there was definitely learning happening at The Big E. There was also lots of fun happening too. And quite frankly with the start of our school year I think we needed to just get away for a day. So we did.
We kept my youngest daughter’s speech therapy appointment and hit the road after that. We met up with some friends when we were up there too and hung out with them for the day. We ate, we shopped, we rode rides, we looked at animals, we looked at vegetables, and we checked out what made each North East states special and unique. And we came home one tired, but happy bunch.
It felt good to recharge like that. Today the kids are back in school. Sure, they have to play a little catch up right now, but they will do just fine.
Have you ever kept your children out of school for a family excursion before?